The constitution of our student council is CCSCC... it's as backwards as the council itself!

The constitution of our student council is CCSCC…it’s as backwards as the council itself!

Curious what CCSC’s been up to?  If you’re actually reading this, looks like it’s true!  This week everything is about the constitution so get your American flags and Columbia hats because CCSC correspondent Joe Milholland’s taking us along for the ride.

President Daphne Chen was “not in town this weekend” according to VP of Policy Bob Sun, who presided over the April 27 CCSC Meeting, where the council discussed constitutional review and learned new information about Housing’s key assist policy.

Constitutional Changes

Financial Reporting: The council will now release two financial reports every year—one in the fall with their financial plans for the upcoming semester and a review of what happened in the spring semester of the last academic year, and one in the spring with a review of the fall semester and plans for the upcoming spring semester. The council passed this change to their constitution without opposition.

Committee Memberships: The council debated whether they should require class councils to have members on all 4 committees or instead require each class council member to serve on at least one committee. The debate between these two options went on for some time, with arguments that committees need representation from all classes and counterarguments that council members who do not want to serve on a committee would drag down the work of the committee. After the debate had continued for several minutes with an unsuccessful straw poll (council members voted for both options), a Class of 2014 class representative said “We’re all being immature” and “we need to try to stop hijacking this conversation.” Eventually, a requirement for class council members to sit on at least one committee was passed without opposition.

VP of Class Councils Having Treasurer Duties: Since the only current distinction between a VP of a class council and a representative is that the VP will take over if the president resigns, the council passed a requirement for the VP to take on a treasurer duties. However, this will not take affect until the 2015-2016 academic year.

Academic Affairs Representative Supervision: The council discussed duties for the Academic Affairs representative to supervise appointees to academic committees. Since there are still questions about the specifics and feasibility of these duties, the council tabled the discussion until next week.

Ivy Council Representative: The Ivy Council is a group devoted to sharing the best practices among Ivy League undergraduate councils. Sun remarked their teleconferences are “super-helpful.” The proposed change to the constitution would have the council appoint an Ivy Council delegate who would also go the weekly CCSC meetings. Council members wondered if this position should be elected and how it should interact with the other undergraduate schools, but further discussion was tabled to next week.

Vacancies: The longest and most in-depth discussion among the council was how to fill vacated seats, such as the Senate seat and Class of 2016 seat that were vacated this year. In last week’s meeting, Elections Board Chair Jeremy Meyers talked about how unplanned direct elections were unfeasible, but since the University Senate can help with Senate elections, unplanned direct elections of University Senators are more feasible. The indirect election process would be overseen by the Elections Board Chair, and the candidates would be publicized to the media before the decision was made. VP of Communications Peter Bailinson admitted he thought indirect elections would bring more people within the CCSC circle to the council. After more debates, in which council members suggested helping to run unplanned elections and Meyers implying that Elections Board has the power to refuse to run an election, the council eventually passed a change to constitution for the direct elections of Senators and E-board VP members but not other representatives.

Also, two members from Housing came to talk about the key policy for next year. Their goals are to get key loans down to 1,000 per month and key assists (going to someone’s dorm and unlocking it) down to 100 per month. After two weeks into the semester, each student will get three key loans before they are sent to the “residential programs conduct process.” There will still be no charge for key loans, and students will have four hours instead of two to return their loaned keys next academic year.

In terms of key assists, students will get one free assist and then a $20 fee for every time afterwards, plus a trip to the residential programs conduct process. Housing also wants to replace all Ving cards with electronic keys in the next three years, and they are getting a 24/7 ID replacement system (with the same charge).

Your mahogany smells of oppression, sir! via Shutterstock